Alumnae Aid Women in Law

The Harvard Law School Alumnae Association and the Guinea Association, a foundation dedicated to advancing the professional careers of women, are cosponsoring a program to help usher female law students into successful careers as attorneys.

The program will bring three Harvard alumnae chosen by a committee for a series of lunches and forums lasting two to three days, said Mark L. Byers, director of the Office of Student Life at the Law School.

The three alumnae chosen to participate in the program are Anne Libbin, a partner in the San Francisco firm Pillsbury Madison and Sutro; Jamie Gorelick, the vice chair of the Fannie Mae Corporation and the former deputy U.S. attorney general; and Verna Myers, deputy chief of staff to the Massachusetts Attorney General.

Visiting alumnae will discuss issues pertinent to women in law, such as glassceilings and balancing work with family responsibilities.

We want to "break the old boys network" and "see women breaking into legal specialities dominated by men," Byers said.

Topics for the first program, to be held Sept. 24 to 26, are "Partnering/Parenting" and "Sex Harassment in the Workplace," Byers said.

The California-based Guinea Foundation is dedicated to supporting the ideals promoted by the novelist Virginia Wolfe in her essay "Three Guineas." Wolfe writes that society would be bettered by devoting money to women's college building funds and professional training for women in non-traditional careers such as law.

Myers said the program is needed because the practice of law is different from the law school experience. "Women and people of color, who may have unique issues to address, benefit greatly from relationships with graduates who can advise them based on the alumnae's experiences and perspectives," she said. "I wish it existed when I was a student."